Dedicated Kala staff members work in the areas of program development, exhibition management, fund development, studio maintenance, technology, education, community engagement, and art sales.
Mayumi Hamanaka, Artistic Director, co-directs Kala with the Executive Director. She has diverse responsibilities and provides artistic vision and direction for the organization, She currently heads up communication including development of the annual marketing plan in collaboration with other staff members, web design and maintenance, and is the gallery curator, organizing exhibitions and related events at Kala gallery and outside venues, and managing Kala’s print archive. Originally from Japan, Mayumi is a visual artist, curator and educator. She received her M.F.A from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and her B.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of the Murphy Fellowship Award, Taipei Artist Village Fellowship, and others. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally including Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Asian American Art Center in NYC.
Archana Horsting, Founding Director, co-founder and Executive Director for 46 years is currently balancing time at Kala with her own studio practice. She has recently stepped away from the day to day to a new role mentoring staff, supporting artists, and working on fundraising and special projects. She received a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz, studied art history at the University of Padova, Italy, and art practice at Academia di Belle Arti di Venezia in Venice, Italy. In 2012 she was recognized with an Alameda County Arts Leadership award. In 2014, she was given a Bay Area Visionaries award from Southern Graphics International Conference. In 2015, she received Berkeley Community Fund’s Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal, awarded annually to Berkeley’s “most useful citizen.”
Gisela Insuaste, Education and Public Programs Manager, is responsible for Kala’s youth arts and education community and public programs including Artists-in-Schools, Camp Kala, Field Trips, Teen Studio Workshops, and Family Artmaking Days, and supervises the adult education program as well. Gisela is an Oakland-based artist, educator, and cultural worker. She enjoys exploring the San Francisco Bay Area on bike or by foot, taking photos and making drawings, paintings, and sculptures inspired by urban and natural environments. She has many years experience working with youth and adults in education, community engagement, and social justice with various organizations in the Bay Area, New York and Chicago. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Anthropology & Studio Art from Dartmouth College. She is the recipient of various grants and awards such as: Apex Art Outbound Residency; Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency; Smithsonian LMSP Fellowship; and MacDowell Colony Fellowships; and Artadia/Driehaus Award.
Ellen Lake, Executive Director, co-directs Kala with the Artistic Director, In addition, she oversees the business office and development efforts at Kala, specializing in grant writing, working with the Board and Founding Director on fundraising initiatives, and creating a productive and thriving organization. She has over 15 years experience working in the arts and non-profit organizations in the Bay Area, from development, strategic planning, and financial management to grant writing, community partnerships, and public art. She received her MFA from Mills College in 2002 and a BA from Amherst College in 1991. She is a recipient of a 2018 Rauschenberg Residency award for artists/arts administrators, 2016 California Arts Council Artists Activating Communities grant, 2015 City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, 2014 Alternative Exposure/Southern Exposure grant and 2012 Experimental Media Arts Lab residency at Stanford University.
Claire McPherson, Art Sales Manager, has worked in art sales for over a decade in both New York and California. At Kala she oversees the Art Sales & Consulting Program in the Mercy and Roger Smullen Print and Media Center, represents Kala at art fairs, and works with artists for Kala’s annual auction. Prior to joining Kala, Claire was a Director at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York where she worked closely with artists, curators, collectors, and consultants. She is a graduate of Brown University and a candidate for an MA in Art History from Hunter College, City University of New York.
Liz Moser, Financial Consultant is responsible for reconciling Kala’s financial accounting including; accounts receivable and payable, payroll, business filings, and QuickBooks financial reporting. She comes to Kala after working 14 years at an accounting firm in Los Angeles as a forensic accountant, small business accounting consultant and QuickBooks ProAdvisor. She also has both a BFA and MFA in Ceramics from Philadelphia College of Art and Tyler School of Arts, respectively, as well as a Master of Science in Administration from Cal State Bakersfield.
Yuzo Nakano, Artistic Director Emeritus and co-founder of Kala Art Institute. While it’s been many years since he has been involved in the day to day at Kala, he remains an important member of Kala’s creative community. He is a graduate of Tenri University and Tokyo Gendai Art Institute, Tokyo, Japan. He studied printmaking with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris. His work has been exhibited in commercial and public galleries throughout the world including the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, where his works are a part of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. In 2014, he was given a Bay Area Visionaries award from Southern Graphics International Conference.
Meg Pohlod, Artist Residency & Social Media Manager, received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta. Originally from Colorado, Meghan moved to the Bay Area in December 2017 to teach printmaking at California College of the Arts and to be closer to her family. She has been working with art centers for the past 7 years as a volunteer, educator and program developer. As a visual artist specializing in print media and print-installation, her interests and visual research include examining the body as interior and exterior space. Through nontraditional print methods she works to represent human experiences of embodied trauma; questioning what happens with memory attached to trauma of abandonment when triggered by image, place and time.
Nick Shick, Print Studio Manager, is a queer, transgender artist and printmaker from Winnipeg, Canada. Nick earned a BFA from NSCAD University and assisted at several print shops including Island Press at Washington University at St. Louis. As a printer at Open Studio in Toronto, Canada, he has worked collaboratively with many artists. Nick recently completed a residency at In Cahoots Press in Petaluma, CA and is excited to join the Bay Area print community. He joined Kala’s team in January 2020.
Gabriela Yoque, Studio Education & Digital Media Manager, while she calls Los Angeles home, she received her B.A. in Studio Art and Computer Science from the University of Puget Sound in Washington. While obtaining her M.F.A. from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Gabriela served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate art courses and high school classes. Prior to her move to the Bay area, she worked in IT for her alma mater and at a small post production company in Los Angeles. She is a multimedia, project based artist that uses her personal narratives and experiences, as a first generation Latina, as a means to understand and challenge larger social issues.